Reproduced here is the in-depth, technically proficient, response by @ersakthivel published in the New Indian Express to my “Stop wasteful military deals”. I am so much better informed now after ingesting his incisive comments.
IMHO the 200 Kg ballast must have been placed simulating excess weight component that will need to be added as new requirements arose which is a standard practice in any test flight program. For example if IRST needs to ne added to Tejas mk-1 . Then we can replace this ballast with IRST equipment . In the same way this 200 KG extra weight will also replicate the performance of MK-2 .Since in the same way it will simulate the fuselage plug to be added for MK-2 to increase it’s weight. SO he is not far off the mark when he says this. may be he did not give detailed explanations but it is more or less correct. Riaz Khokar in his critical article about Tejas mk-2 expectations also referred to this 200 KG ballast weight in tejas mk-2 and feigned ignorance of it. he should know any way that it simulates the excess weight that may be added in future if IAf asks for further additions.
Posted by ersakthivel at 11/09/2013 11:58
Since the many weight saving exercise were carried out already reducing the weight of the mk-1 close to a ton this ballast if it is still used in mk-1 will simulate the excess weight of the mk-2. Who did all the IOCs and FOCs for SU-30 MKI? The sukhoi guys? No. Even before the SU-30 MKI was finished as a product IAF put money into it based on the performance of base line version of Su-30 . Without getting so many OCs a squadron of less tested F-35 are already opertating. Also russian airforce is gearing up to introduce without insisting on so many changes and 2300 flight tests spanning 14 years , Just four or five prototypes of PAKFA are up in the air with older engines originally not meant for it. The new engine for PAKFA is yet to get certification. Then how can the Russian airforce introduce PAKFA next year with fewer than 1000 sub standard test flights with fixtures on the air frame and old lesser power engines on which it is running now?
Posted by ersakthivel at 11/09/2013 12:01
SO the author is correct on this count as well. wiki states the Range 850 KM and ferry range 3000 KM for tejas MK 1. MK 1 can fly 2X850 Km =1700 KM . If MK 1 can fly 1700 KM than certainly MK2 with additional 40% fuel can at least fly more than 50 percent long distance. Since reserve fuel back up levels will be the same for mk-1 and mk-2 along with the fact it is the take off and sharp manoeuvres which eat up most fuel not cruising at a comfortable fuel burn ratio as per design. After all GE404 is a highly fuel efficient engine and GE 414 IN S 6 goes one step further and it is more advanced than the older engines on RAFALE. So MK2 will have close to 75 % of Rafale’s range in normal design load normal internal fuel condition in which most of the IAF missions are carried out.
Posted by ersakthivel at 11/09/2013 12:02
You can’t go lugging tons and tons of extra fuel (bullock cart level close combat performance config )into heavily defended PAk and Chinese air space defended by F-16 newer blocks and Chinese Flanker versions in the same way french are flying over next to no defence air spaces of male and Afghanistan. So even if IAF attempts to fly with such heavy external fuel tanks on the first blush of contact with defending fighters those fuel tanks will be dumped. Fuel capacity of 2 engine Rafale with a few more tons of extra empty weight is 4700 KG against the few tons lesser weight single engine LCA MK2 which has 3000 to 3400 KG of internal fuel. So for normal combat missions which demand high close combat performance with full internal fuel only tejas mk-2 will have almost close to the same range as RAAFLE. In addition tejas mk-2 has air to air refuelling in buddy mode as well . Mk2 can carryout 80 percent of the missions which Rafale can.
Posted by ersakthivel at 11/09/2013 12:04
And we have extra super Sukhois FGFAs to cover the remaining 30 percent. With the French already wiggling out of TOT commitments with “HAL —no good” certificate close to 30 billion dollar expenditure is a sheer waste of money on a redundant acquisition, if you consider the sky-high upgrading price for Mirage 2000 will repeat itself for RAFALE. Then we can operate close to 250 tejas mk-2 and 50 extra Super Sukhoi fighters which has complete TOT including engine in our hands. And last but not the least tejas mk-2 will have even lower wing loading with comparable TWR and a a ten percent higher top speeds of mach-2 meaning that tejas mk-2 has better designed air frame using the latest composite tech with close to 60 percent of it’s weight in composites as suggested by CEMEILAC. it will have the same long range BVRs and same powered ASEA radar with matching antena dia as RAFALE.
Posted by ersakthivel at 11/09/2013 12:06
Some people are misquoting the clean config RCS of tejas mk-1 as a third of mirage -2000. But the proper quote that can be read from B. Harry’s piece in “Vayu” on tejas is “Tejas will have a third of clean config RCS of the latest 4th gen fighters in design phase. When this comment was made only TYPHOON and RAFALE were in the works, not Mirage-2000. So with no canards and more aerodynamic and RCS optimization that will take place for tejas mk-2 along with far lesser physical dimensions than the TYPHOON and RAFALE you can rightfully expect tejas mk-2 to have far lesser clean config RCS than the RAFALE as well. Also the single engine of tejas mk-2 will release more than 40 percent lesser heat energy into the atmosphere. It means a substantially lesser IRST detection range as well. So for the close to 20 percent shortfall in range over RAFALE Tejas mk-2 has some very significant advantage over RAFALE in home air space defence as well.
Posted by ersakthivel at 11/09/2013 12:07
The ASEA for tejas mk-2 is also getting ready with foreign collaboration as well. And tejas mk-2 will always be upgradable with whatever longer range BVRs supplied in future from Russia for FGFA as well. As we are doing the avionics and radar integration on FGFA we can port these close to 200 KM range BVRs on tejas mk-2 as well with no hefty fees and least hassles. That’s what the test pilot Suneth Krishna said that tejas is a modular fighter easily upgradable in batches as all it’s design knowledge is here. The weapon load is never a problem we can operate 3 Tejas mk-2 for the cost of one RAFALE with far lesser per hour operation cost as well. That means for the same price we will have three RAFALE sized ASEA radars with three EW suits along with 21 pylons carrying close to 30 air to air missiles if dual rack launch pylons are added in future.
Posted by ersakthivel at 11/09/2013 12:08
So even though making a few mistakes like naming the HPT 40 as HJT 44 and mistaking the comments of french pilots as test flight comments the author is correct by and large. If at all the author mentioned the rejection by IAF of HPT-35 effort by HAL then there would be more questions to be answered. For more info on tejas mk-2 go to defenceforumindia tejas mk-2 thread
Posted by ersakthivel at 11/09/2013 12:16